Jarrett Stidham could theoretically end up starting at quarterback for the Patriots next season.
If Tom Brady retires or decides to play elsewhere, and the Patriots don’t acquire a starter via the draft, a trade, or free agency, that outcome is realistic.
There are a lot of external factors at play, so the second-year QB said his focus is on blocking those distractions out as much as possible and improving his craft. In an interview with ESPN’s Mike Reiss at the Panini Rookie Closeout in California, Stidham said his goal is to enhance his game and learn as much as he possibly can to make a big jump from Year 1 to Year 2.
He told Reiss that Brady helped him immeasurably this past season.
“It was priceless,” Stidham told Reiss. “It’s going to be really cool one day when I can sit there and tell my children, or my grandkids one day, that I got to be in the same quarterback room and talking about coverages and different passing concepts with Tom.”
Stidham, the team’s fourth-round selection in 2019, called Brady a phenomenal teammate, person, and player. He said Brady was “very open” to him about football and that he “can’t speak highly enough” of him.
“The way he approaches things, his work ethic is unbelievable,” Stidham told Reiss. “The amount of time he puts into film and just game plan and understanding who we’re playing, and personnel, all these different things that can come up throughout the week. That’s something I obviously have learned from him, and something I’d love to incorporate as much into my game as I possibly could. The list is endless, but that’s probably the No. 1 thing with him.”
Stidham, who threw four touchdown passes in the preseason and totaled 15 snaps in the regular season, is currently one of two Patriots QBs under contract along with Cody Kessler.
Now that he has a year of experience, Stidham said he wants to know every little detail and the ins and outs better than he did as a rookie.
“Obviously, Tom, he’s been in this system for 20 years and knows it extremely well,” Stidham said. “I’m not going to get to that level quite yet, but trying to close that gap as much as I can, and to learn as much as I can, is my biggest goal.”